Updated: October 11, 2021 3:00:48 pm
Two days after a 10-month-old boy was found abandoned outside a cowshed in Gandhinagar, police arrested the child’s father, a 30-year-old man from Uttar Pradesh, for allegedly murdering the mother before deserting the baby.
According to police, the accused Sachin Dixit, a resident of sector 26 in Gandhinagar, was arrested for the murder of his partner, Mehndi Pethani alias Heena, a resident of Bapod in Vadodara, and abandoning their son Shivansh. Police said Dixit has been married to another woman for the past four years. The couple has a child.
On October 8 around 9.20 pm, Sachin left Shivansh outside Swaminarayan Gaushala in Pethapur of Gandhinagar, police said. Passersby and local corporator admitted the child to Gandhinagar civil hospital.
Next day morning, Minister of State (Home) Harsh Sanghavi visited the child in hospital and announced forming several police teams to identify his parents. By Saturday night, Gandhinagar police zeroed in on Sachin Dixit with the help of over 40 CCTV cameras that showed him abandoning the child using a hatchback car. Dixit’s phone location was found in Kota and was detained while he was on his way to Uttar Pradesh, police said.
On Sunday morning, Dixit was brought to Gandhinagar. During interrogation, he informed the police that the child’s mother was Mehndi Pethani, a resident of Darshanam Oasis Society in Bapod area of Vadodara. A police team who reached the flat found her body packed in a bag.
“Sachin was in a relationship with Mehndi alias Heena Pethani. The duo had met in a showroom in 2018 where the victim woman used to work and they started living together in 2019. Shivansh was born in 2020 and in June this year, Sachin got a job in a Vadodara-based company and he took a flat on rent in Darshanam Oasis society in Bapod area of Vadodara to live with Mehndi and their child,” said Abhay Chudasma, inspector general of police, Gandhinagar range.
Pethani was a native of Keshod in Junagadh, who lost her mother and father had remarried, police said.
Adding that Sachin used to live five days a week with Heena in Vadodara and weekends with his parents and wife at Gandhinagar, Chudasma said, “On Friday, Mehndi asked him not to go to Gandhinagar and a fight ensued. In a fit of rage, Sachin strangulated Mehndi and packed her body in a bag in the kitchen. He then took his son and deserted the child outside Swaminarayan Gaushala.”
Police said Sachin used to buy milk and other products from the gaushala in the past and was aware of the place. “He hoped that the child would be taken by somebody as it is a religious place. He then left for Uttar Pradesh with his parents who were not aware of his relationship with Mehndi. Their travel to UP was a planned one,” Chudasma added.
According to police, the fight between Sachin and Mehndi happened after he informed about his travel plan to UP with his parents.
“We have not found any record of marriage between Sachin and Mehndi… His wife was also not aware of the relationship. When Sachin told Mehndi that he was going to UP with his wife and parents, Mehndi told him to choose between her and his family when Sachin killed her. The baby is in a child care centre in Gandhinagar and a DNA test will be conducted,” the inspector general of police said.
Shamsher Singh, commissioner of police, Vadodara city, told The Indian Express that the Vadodara city police will investigate the murder case. “Bapod police station will register an FIR after the process of punchnama and then it will take over the investigation,” said Singh.
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